Petty Hates : Externally Procured Cinema Snacks

As a kid, I wasn’t allowed pick ‘n’ mix, the tub of sweets and chocolate that you put together yourself from a selection in cinemas or the supermarket.  I wasn’t allowed it because it was expensive, and maybe a little bit because of just how much sugar it was possible to cram in.

It was only later in life when I had to look after myself that I was able to work out just how much sugar I was able to cram in.  There are various techniques in order to make the most of your limited space.  One approach is to be super structured and wrap long sweets like the jelly snakes and strawberry laces around the outside while filling the middle normally.  Another is to just use small sweets like Smarties and M&Ms to really limit free space, which can also be achieved by squashing all the foamy sweets as you pack the tub.

Those techniques tend to limit the consumer to only one type of confectionary, so a hybrid approach seems to be optimal.  Wrap, fill the centre with something else and fill the gaps with the small stuff with a thorough shake down and squash, slowly building up.  Arguably the perfect cinema snack (although I’ll also hear claims for sweet popcorn).

If any of you have even considered salty popcorn, please leave now.

Popcorns popularity at cinemas really started in the 1920s in America when movies started having sound.  This made cinemas accessible to the masses because people didn’t to be literate to be able to enjoy the film.  Sellers of the favourite street food moved outside the theatres to maximise their sales, so the cinemas brought it in house to maximise their profits.  It’s cheap, easy to make and, as I found out last week, can be sold for an absolute fortune.

The cost, I’m guessing, is why people take their own snacks in to cinemas, and this is my petty hate.  If you’re going to go out I don’t get why it’s that much of an expense to pay for the snacks, because the snacks served in cinemas are also ideal for another reason than their taste and flavour – their silence when eating.

I was sat in front of and next to External Snack Eaters last weekend.  They brought popcorn in a crinkly bag rather than eating the popcorn in cardboard buckets.  They drank drinks from cans that they didn’t noisily open before the film started, rather than having a cup with a straw.  One ate Pringles which he needed to slide down the tube and then crunch and, of course, crisps aren’t sold in cinemas.  One had a bag of sweets in crinkly plastic rather that pick ‘n’ mix or the sharing bags made from plastic that is designed to be quiet when manipulated.  It was all wrong.

It’s not just the noise that irritates me, it’s the fact that the consumers of said food are eating it because it’s cheaper for them at the expense of annoying me.  If the expense bothers you, just work out the cheapest way of doing it or don’t do it at all.

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